“We are fully occupied.” A sentence many are now anticipating this holiday season, especially in hotels and vacation homes. But unlike on vacation, the dogs at the shelter can’t look forward to coming home. Length of your stay – Uncertain.
Fulda – At the Fulda-Hoenfeld Animal Shelter, there is already a waiting list for dog deliveries, “which is very difficult to work on,” said Eva Negyemann-Zehe, the animal shelter’s chief dog and officer. Obviously, this is not a new phenomenon. “We did not see an increase in applications overall,” says Niggemann-Ziehe. Instead, the cause of submission “aggression” is more and more frequent. What are the consequences of Corona? The president is skeptical: “I don’t think this is due to the epidemic, but rather due to a lack or improper training of dogs.”
Fulda: Animal shelters are seeing a trend of “problem dogs” as a reason to abandon
The dog officer suspects that this is also the reason for the low demand for animals from the home. “We can give people fewer dogs that are right for them.” Those interested will first have to go through a longer training phase so that humans and dogs learn to get along with each other.
In addition, more and more animals that behave particularly aggressively are released. “As much as we ask around us, this trend can be seen in all animal shelters,” reveals Niggemann-Ziehe. “It’s not the aggression itself that makes you disagree with the dog. He may not be able to stay alone and bark all the time, destroy because he is frustrated, afraid, etc. Again, all of this takes training and patience and is often considered very difficult.”
According to the German Animal Welfare Association, the situation is similar in other animal shelters in Germany. “Many animals in care push employees to their limits,” says President Thomas Schroeder. Mainly because many dogs are difficult to handle and need a lot of care. An astonishing number of small dogs of larger, more demanding breeds were abandoned at the Berlin Animal Shelter last year, press spokeswoman Pete Kaminsky said.
“People may have brought puppies home in the wake of the Corona pet boom, but they haven’t done the necessary grooming work. At the latest when puberty started, the little dog was completely overwhelmed by them,” she says. The animal shelter has since imposed a freeze on animal entry. There are more than 80 dogs on the waiting list alone, which owners are willing to give up.
Currently there are not only a lot of dogs in the animal shelter in Saarbrücken, but also a large number of small dogs. Otherwise, the older animals would be abandoned, says Frederick Goldener. Many dogs behave strangely. “They don’t know how to communicate. They react aggressively and bark at strangers.” Others have musculoskeletal conditions. “This makes it difficult to adopt animals,” Goldner says. “
Video: Corona-era pets fill animal shelters
Udo Kaepernick of the German Dog Association (VDH) also noted that the Corona period had left its mark on young dogs. “Dogs really have a disability. They grew up at a time when they had moved into a cocoon,” he says.
They are used to being looked after around the clock and have little contact with dogs and other people. When the owners had to go back to work after months in the home office, problems arose because they couldn’t take the dog with them, but they didn’t want them to be on their own or to be taken care of by others. This problem can also be observed at the animal shelter in Gelnhausen.
Another problem is the illegal puppy trade, which has flourished due to the high demand for dogs in the Corona crisis. Last year, 170 puppies freed from illegal transport ended up in an animal shelter in Nuremberg alone. Kaepernick says many puppies are too small to be separated from their mother and siblings. “When they are dogs, it is not so obvious that they miss a crucial step in their socialization. However, this becomes apparent by the time they reach puberty. Dogs become aggressive, and there are biting incidents in the family.”
According to Kaepernick, diseases affecting young dogs reported by the animal shelter in Saarbrücken can also be traced back to questionable breeders who did not conduct proper health checks on the parent animals. “It’s all about mass and making money fast.”
Animal shelters often find it difficult to find a new home for such dogs – especially now that Corona’s pet boom has faded. “At the moment, there are seldom any requests for our animals. Perhaps because people no longer want the animals,” says the animal shelter in Salzgitter, Lower Saxony.